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Changes to the Blue Badge Scheme in Wales
The Blue Badge (Disabled Parking) Scheme (‘the Scheme’) provides a vital lifeline to disabled people in Wales. The Badge provides the holder with significant independence and helps improve quality of life by enabling the Badge holder to access important services. Seventy-five per cent of Badge holders say that they would go out less often if they did not have a Badge.
The Scheme gives a concession to people who meet the eligibility criteria to park where parking restrictions for other motorists may otherwise generally apply. The Scheme plays an important role in helping these people overcome some of the barriers they face when accessing jobs, shops and other important services. To maximise the accessibility of services, we want to continue to provide preferential parking to people who find that the substantial distance between the provision of parking spaces and the services they need is a barrier to access. That is, people who are unable (or virtually unable) to walk because of a permanent and substantial impairment or who are registered as sight impaired.
Since the introduction of the Scheme in the 1970s there has been a huge increase in the number of Badges in circulation. There are currently over 230,000 Blue Badge holders in Wales, many of whom say that they would be unable to travel without the certainty that they will be able to park close to where they need to be. The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that this vital Scheme continues to provide preferential parking concessions for those in most need.
This consultation is seeking views on a number of proposals to improve the Scheme in Wales to reflect the significant social changes that have taken place over the past 40 years, and to ensure the Scheme is administered efficiently, consistently and fairly.
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